At the request of The New York Public Library we are posting this response to Mr. Brodeur’s article of March 30.
The Paul Brodeur Papers at The New York Public Library were fully processed in 2010 and can now be reached through a finding aid that has only recently been made available (http://www.nypl.org/sites/default/files/archivalcollections/pdf/399.pdf). The collection includes the primary source material that, in the estimation of our curatorial and archival staff, will be of greatest interest to researchers and scholars studying Brodeur’s career and his work. This includes most of Mr. Brodeur’s manuscripts, notes, and correspondence. The rest of the material consists largely of secondary source items, including copies of and from magazines and newspapers, that are available elsewhere; these are the items the Library decided could be returned to Mr. Brodeur. In doing so it was following the standards regarded by librarians and archivists as the best professional practices.
The deed of gift that Mr. Brodeur signed in 1993 was very clear. Specifically, it stated that “The Library reserves the right to return to Donor any items that it does not choose to retain in the Papers. If Donor (or, if Donor is deceased, Donor’s estate) declines to accept such items, the Library may dispose of the same as the Library determines in its sole discretion.”
The New York Public Library seeks to offer the best possible service to researchers while also taking account of the constraints on the Library’s facilities. We are very pleased to have the Paul Brodeur Papers and hope that many researchers will use the collection now that it is fully available for exploration.